Shared Listings and Real Estate

Fascinating story in the SF Chronicle on the life-or-death tussle between traditional real estate brokers and online competitors over sharing listing information:

In the last several years, the National Association of Realtors has pushed an online listings policy that could allow larger, dominant brokerages to withhold property information from smaller companies. ZipRealty executives contend the measure is intended to guard high commissions and stifle upstart discount firms.

Implementation of the policy is on hold pending a U.S. Department of Justice antitrust investigation of the plan.


  1. THE WEB ABHORS A CLOSED NETWORK. I don’t care how rosy the scenario is for your closed network of choice, be it Ebay or MLS, IT WILL BE BROKEN. Long term, this is a LAW of the web. The real estate folks know the end is coming, they just want to milk it out a bit longer. Ebay is another issue, they think their closed model has a future. One, two, four years out, sure. A decade out, routing around the Ebay gated entrance will be trivial. No wonder Ebay is buying out Craig’s List…they know a Craig’s List type operation will kill them at some point (they want to preempt it by nullifying Craig’s List in its infancy), or a p2p anonymous bidding network, or some other route-around.